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Say have you ever been at a poker table, and been totally lost by the table talk? It can be a pretty intimidating experience right? Well have no fear we’re here to help. You see the our wonderful game of poker is literally filled to the brim with those strange and odd words and sayings that truly only an insider would have a clue what the hell they mean. Until now, here’s pokertalk #101 starting off easy as A,B,C:

Here Come The ABC’s

“A” Game – Minimizing your mistakes in order to play the best game of poker possible.

ABC Poker – Avoiding fancy play; betting strong hands, folding weak ones.

Act – Bet, call, raise, or fold.

Action – A player’s turn to act.

Action Card – A card which causes weighty and significant betting between two or more players.

Add-On –  Purchasing additional chips at the end of a tournament’s rebuy period.

Aggro – A term used to describe an aggressive player.

Air – No pair, no draw.

Angle – Behavior or action during a game that does not directly violate the rules, but bends them as far as they’ll go.  Often referred to as “angle shooting” and considered to be poor etiquette by most players.

Ante – A forced bet for all players dealt into the hand.

Back Into – Picking up a draw on the turn and completing your hand on the river is called “backing into” a hand. (see also ‘runner-runner’)

Backdoor – Unintentionally improve a hand on the river. The stuff bad beats are made of.

Bad Beat – Playing a pot as a statistical favorite and losing.

Bankroll – The amount of money a person has allotted for playing poker.

Barreling – Following up a bet on a previous street, often as a bluff.

Bet – Initiate a wager.

Big Blind – A forced bet, most often double the small blind, serves as the min amount to bet.

Big Blind Special – Turning an otherwise unattractive starting hand into one worthy of a large pot when on the Big Blind simply because no other player raised pre-flop.

Bink – Transition from underdog to favorite after hitting an out.

Blank – A seemingly innocuous card.

Bleed – Lose chips unnecessarily. (see also ‘spew’)

Blind – A forced bet.

Blocker – Holding a card which decreases or eliminates the likelihood of your opponent holding an unbeatable or otherwise extremely strong hand.

Bluff – A wager placed in an attempt to steal the pot with little to no hope of being able to showdown the best hand.

Board – Community cards. Also known as the flop, turn, and river. The board is shared by all active players in a hand.

Bottom Pair – Having a card in your hand which matches the lowest ranking card on the board.

Bottom Set – Having a pair in your hand which matches the lowest ranking card on the board.

Brick – 1. A card which hits the board which does not improve your hand. 2. Failing to improve your hand  3. Failing to cash in a tournament or series of tournaments.

Brick & Mortar – A live casino/gaming venue as opposed to online site.

Broadway – The highest possible straight, Ten through Ace.

Bubble – The period of play during a tournament where all remaining players will be played except one (the next player eliminated).

Bullet – A buyin.

Bust/Busto – The act of being eliminated from a tournament or cash game, when your chip count equals zero.

Button – A round marker which indicates the dealer position.

Buyin – The amount of money used/required to enter a game.

Call – To match another player’s bet.

Calling The Clock – Forcing your opponent to act by putting an official time limit on his action.

Calling Station – A player who frequently flat calls as opposed to raising or folding.

Call Light – An unorthodox call based on having a relatively weak hand when you’re convinced that your opponent is bluffing. (see also ‘bluff catch’)

Card Dead – A seemingly unending sequence of weak starting hands.

Cards In The Air – When a hand is being dealt, it is said that cards are in the air.

Chase – Continuing to call/put money in with a dog hand, hoping to improve on a future street.

Check – Declining the option to bet, while still remaining in the hand.

Check Raise – Making a raise after previously checking to your opponent on that round of betting.

Chip Leader – The player with the most chips at any given time during a game is referred to as the chip leader.

Chip Up – To increase the amount of chips in front of you.

Chop – A consensual agreement among remaining players in a tournament to modify the distribution of scheduled payouts.

Coin Flip – When your odds of winning a hand are at or near 50%.

Cold Call – Calling after multiple bets and/or raises have been made in front of you, with none of your chips previously invested.

Community Cards – Cards shared by all players in a hand. (see also ‘board’)

Connectors – Two cards that give the opportunity to flop a straight, often consecutive in rank.

Continuation Bet – Also referred to C-Bet, place a bet on the flop after having raised pre-flop.

Counterfeit – When a card falls on the turn or river that reduces the value of your hand.

Crack/Crack A Hand – Outdrawing a stronger hand.

Crippled – Lose most of your chips, but not your entire stack.

Cry Call – A call made tentatively and with little hope of winning the pot, often made based on the size of the bet in relation to the size of the entire pot.

Cutoff – The table position directly to the right of the dealer, or button.

Up next it’s the def’s, NO we said D E and F….

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Now it’s your turn.

What did we miss, or what’s your favorite poker saying? Let us know in the comments below!


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